четверг, 31 января 2008 г.

Honda Title Plans On Hold

Honda's newly launched 2008 car is not a race winner and does not yet feature the touch of the team's high-profile new appointment, Ross Brawn.Those were the key messages as the Japanese squad set modest ambitions for the RA108 single seater as it was unveiled to the press at an event in Brackley on Tuesday.

Silly Budget Cap Shenanigans Continue

F1 teams' financial experts will meet in Paris with the FIA on Thursday to determine an appropriate budget cap for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons.It is expected that the budget limitations will phase in over the initial three year period, with FIA president Max Mosley to preside over a special department of 30 forensic accountants to police the cap.

Renault Launch Up Next

Fernando Alonso will display a new personal sponsor on his helmet this season, it will be confirmed at the launch of Renault's 2008 car and livery in Paris on Thursday.Spanish media reports reveal that Alonso, who arrived in the French capital on Wednesday, will be sponsored in 2008 and 2009 by Silestone, a Spain-based multinational kitchen supplier owned by Cosentino.

Times Set for F1's First Night Event

Practice and qualifying sessions for the Singapore grand prix will also take place significantly later than usual, the governing FIA confirmed on Wednesday.Friday practice for the island state's inaugural street race, set for late September this year, will take place at 4pm, preceding a night session at 8pm, it was revealed in the sport's official timetable for the 2008 season.

'We Are Very Confident That We Have Got What It Takes'

BMW-Sauber chief Mario Theissen has countered team driver Nick Heidfeld's fears by insisting that the German squad is still on course to fight at the front of the field in 2008.Heidfeld recently expressed concerns about the driveability of BMW's newly-launched F1.08 single seater, but German countryman Theissen on Wednesday said he is "convinced" that the car is in fact better than its predecessor.

'How Horrible!'

Alex Wurz says he will be happy to step in and race for Honda if required in 2008, despite retiring as an active formula one racer last October.The Austrian veteran will attend most races this year as the Japanese team's official reserve and test driver, having explained last year that he quit as a race driver because he began to have "doubt" about his previous role at Williams.

Super Aguri On the Verge Of Being Sold

The Indian telco Spice Group has confirmed that it is interested in buying into the struggling formula one team Super Aguri.The Mohali-based company is reportedly leading a consortium of fellow Indian corporates, possibly including the business group Tata as a potential sponsor, who are keen to join the grand prix circus and bring former Jordan racer Narain Karthikeyan back to the grid.

Formula One Champion 'Still Exactly The Same'

Kimi Raikkonen has rubbished suggestions that, with a world championship under his belt, he can now afford to slow down.Also denying media gossip that he and his wife Jenni are now ready to have children, the Ferrari driver - nicknamed 'the iceman' - explained that he will pursue victory with the same rigour in 2008.

среда, 30 января 2008 г.

'Every Single Opportunity Is Not Always Possible'

Adrian Campos has played down speculation that he and business partner Alejandro Agag are on the verge of launching a Spanish formula one team.It was reported recently that Campos, a former Minardi driver, and millionaire Agag had now completed the partial purchase of struggling Japanese team Super Aguri, following negotiations that began last year.

Force India Preparing to Launch

The formula one team Force India confirmed that its 2008 car will be launched officially on February 7.The event will take place in Mumbai, but the single seater will only make its track debut at Spain's Circuit de Catalunya, in Barcelona, on February 25 -- less than a month before the first race of the season in Australia.

Bahrain Adding Grandstands

Construction of a new grandstand on the pit straight of the Bahrain grand prix circuit will begin next month, according to a report in Gulf Weekly.The additional seats, to boost maximum capacity to 44,600, is a response to the sellout race-day crowd of 2007, and the increased interest in the upcoming formula one race scheduled for early April.

De Ferran To Drive Again!

Former Honda sporting director Gil de Ferran will return to the cockpit in 2008 with his own team in the American Le Mans sports car series.The CART and Indy 500 winner, who left the Brackley based F1 team six months ago, will drive his own Acura ARX-01b prototype in the LMP2 class this year, under the Indianapolis-based De Ferran Motorsport Engineering banner.

'I Can't Think Of Anywhere Better To Be Than Here At Honda'

After angrily slamming Honda's 2007 car as a "dog" late last year, Jenson Button has retracted his threat to quit the Japanese team at the end of the forthcoming season.The 28-year-old Briton said at the launch of the Brackley based squad's 2008 effort, the RA108, that he has been reinvigorated by the recent arrival of lauded former Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn as team boss.

Honda Targets Points Finishes

Honda on Tuesday revealed a new formula one livery for the 2008 season, with the satellite image of the world now taking a back seat to a predominantly white, red and green design.The car's launch took place at Honda's Brackley (UK) base, where test driver Alex Wurz drove the RA108 - which still features no private sponsor logos but instead the words 'earth' and 'earthdreams' - indoors before 300 international media and guests.

New Ron Dennis Rumors

Ron Dennis has rubbished rumours that he is positioning himself as a potential successor to Max Mosley as president of F1's governing body.The long time McLaren boss, who is rumoured to be nearing the date when he hands over the reigns of the British company to Martin Whitmarsh, was increasingly at loggerheads with Mosley in 2007.

вторник, 29 января 2008 г.

Jack Brabham Honoured

Australia's triple world champion, Sir Jack Brabham, has been named an officer in the Order of Australia (AO) in the Australia Day honours for services to motor sport.The 82-year-old was knighted by the Queen in 1979, after being appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1966. In 1966 he was also Australian of the Year.

F1 Drivers Must Pay FIA Safety Tax

The cost of obtaining a formula one 'superlicense' has skyrocketed because drivers should contribute to the safety measures designed to protect them, Max Mosley told reporters in London on Monday.It emerged recently that the credential, mandatory for participants in official sessions at grands prix, would in 2008 cost a driver 10,000 euros plus 2,000 euros per point scored in the previous season.

McLaren Testing Continues On Island

Lewis Hamilton took over from 2008 teammate Heikki Kovalainen on Monday as McLaren conduct straight line tests this week on the runway of a Spanish island.At the Aeroclub de Mahon, located on the small Mediterranean Sea island of Menorca, the 23-year-old British driver was watched on by locals as he practiced manual starts and braking with no electronic assistance with the MP4-23.

FIA Boss Whines About Competitors Suspicions

Max Mosley on Monday expressed frustration with Jarno Trulli's claim that the banning of electronic aids has returned the spectre of cheating to formula one.Toyota driver Trulli, the Italian veteran of more than 180 grands prix, said recently that some rival teams may already be testing ways to get around the new FIA-mandated standard electronics, including illegal forms of launch and traction control.

'I Don't Think It Would Be A Considered Judgment'

FIA president Max Mosley has advised Lewis Hamilton to distance himself from the sport's politics rather than quit because of those issues.Amid the highly controversial 2007 season, and caught in a storm about his driving behind the safety car in Japan, the McLaren rookie warned that "if this is the way it's going to keep going then it's probably not somewhere I really want to be."

Toro Rosso Starting Year With 'Updated' Car

Sebastian Vettel has revealed that Toro Rosso will begin the 2008 season with the STR2B -- a development of the car the team used last year.The single seater has been performing strongly in his and new teammate Sebastien Bourdais' hands in recent tests, moving Vettel to conclude that the team's policy of using the old car for the first few races of the season could prove an advantage.

Ralphie Reviewing Yacht Options

Former formula one driver Ralf Schumacher is on the verge of buying a 22-metre luxury yacht for 4.2 million euros, according to the German newspaper Bild-Zeitung.The winner of six grands prix, who is likely to race in the DTM series with Mercedes-Benz this year, reportedly toured for several hours the 'Bandido 75' at the 'boot Dusseldorf' water show.

понедельник, 28 января 2008 г.

McLaren Tests on Spanish island

The Mediterranean Sea island of Menorca was back in formula one action at the weekend, as McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen drove the MP4-23 up and down the long runway of the Real Aeroclub de Mahon.The Spanish press speculates that the Finn's teammate Lewis Hamilton could appear in the 2008-specification car as the aerodynamic test continues on Monday.

Schumacher Visits Dubai, Takes In GP2 Race

Michael Schumacher was a high profile spectator as the Dubai Autodrome hosted the opening of the GP2 Asia and Speedcar series at the weekend.The semi-retired seven time world champion was photographed with his wife Corinna and manager Willi Weber, as he attended the event reportedly to support his long time friend Jean Alesi's debut in the Speedcar series.

воскресенье, 27 января 2008 г.

Rumors Circulate Regarding Super Aguri

Aguri Suzuki has now completed the partial sale of his formula one team, according to reports on Friday.It emerged last year that Honda powered Super Aguri, based in Leafield (UK), was in talks with Alejandro Agag, a Spaniard and part owner of the Campos Grand Prix GP2 team.

'I Did Think About Quitting'

Timo Glock has revealed that he contemplated giving up his formula one dream after the setbacks of a few years ago.The 25-year-old German made his grand prix debut towards the end of 2004, racing four times for Jordan before stepping back into the lower Champ Car and GP2 categories.

'My Fear Is Having A Bad Year And Fighting For Eighth Position'

Fernando Alonso says the prospect of Renault not making a step forward in 2008 is a worry for him.After a one year absence from the team, the Spaniard spearheaded a seemingly competitive return at Jerez this week, despite the R27 single seater rarely being in contention for podiums in 2007.

Former F1 Drivers Flee to Sports Cars

Despite elder brother Michael's advice to the contrary, it appears that F1 refugee Ralf Schumacher may be considering a switch to the German touring car series DTM in 2008.According to ORF, the Austrian national broadcaster, the 32-year-old has lined up a test in a Mercedes-Benz tin-top car this week.

'It Made No Sense To Push Too Hard'

Rubens Barrichello has cautiously assessed Honda's new car for 2008, the RA108, as better than its abysmal predecessor.The Brazilian veteran gave the unliveried single seater its track debut at Valencia on Wednesday, languishing at the bottom of the time sheets with a best lap some 3.5 seconds shy of the pace.

Fry Backs Barrichello

Nick Fry, chief executive of the Honda formula one team, has excused Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello for failing to score a single point in 2007.Fry explained that Barrichello, the most experienced active driver on the grid and a nine time race winner for Ferrari, struggled for motivation last season with the uncompetitive RA107.

суббота, 26 января 2008 г.

Huge Crowds Continue at Valencia

Following the incredible sight of 38,000 Spaniards at the Valencia test on Tuesday, a public holiday, the twisty circuit still managed a crowd of 22,000 on Wednesday, Spanish local press reports said. "It was nice to see the support of the fans here and that is always a big motivation," said Renault driver Fernando Alonso.

'I've Brought A Lot To F1'

Flavio Briatore says he will likely step down as Renault's formula one boss when Fernando Alonso leaves the team.The 58-year-old Italian, whose current two-year contract runs out at the end of 2008, revealed to Spain's sports daily Marca that his next move will be a "rest" after two decades on the pit wall.

'We're On An Upswing!'

Williams is clawing its way back to having the resources it needs to challenge for victory in formula one, according to the British team's co-owner Patrick Head.The Oxfordshire based team lost the manufacturer backing of BMW ahead of the 2006 season, when Williams used Cosworth power to finish an abysmal eighth in the constructors' title.

Testing Done, What's Next ?

Thursday brought an end to the multiple-day F1 group test at the Valencia circuit in Spain. For the majority of teams, the action will resume for a rare weekend test beginning on 1 February at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, but Ferrari and Toyota are heading to Bahrain for six days of running at the grand prix track at Sakhir.Array

пятница, 25 января 2008 г.

Are Teams Cheating ?

Jarno Trulli says he is concerned that the banning of electronic aids has returned the spectre of cheating to formula one.Toyota's Italian driver is quoted as telling the magazine Autosprint that, eight weeks before the opening race of 2008, some rival teams may have found a way around the new standard electronics developed and supplied by McLaren Electronic Systems.

'Renault Love Alonso'

Fernando Alonso's former manager is confident that the Spaniard will in 2008 not suffer a recurrence of the problems that dogged his ill-fated single season at McLaren last year.Adrian Campos, currently a GP2 team boss who raced in the 80s for Minardi, pins the blame for Alonso's irreparable problems last year squarely on the British team run by Ron Dennis.

'We Are Basically Just Using The Aerodynamics Of Last Year'

Felipe Massa has fired a warning shot at Ferrari's F1 rivals by suggesting that the already ultra-competitive F2008 will likely be even faster at by the time of the Australian grand prix in March. "We are basically just using the aerodynamics of last year," he revealed to the Spanish newspaper Diario AS at the Valencia tests, "and we are hoping for improvements for Melbourne, which are not yet ready. We still have progress to make," the Brazilian added.

'I Dare Not Say'

Heikki Kovalainen has revealed that his best time in Valencia testing on Wednesday was set by carrying a low fuel load.The Finnish driver, at the wheel of a new McLaren MP4-23, set a fastest lap of the twisty eastern Spanish venue of 1.11.000 -- nearly seven tenths quicker than the nearest Ferrari, and a full second clear of his teammate Lewis Hamilton.

четверг, 24 января 2008 г.

Former Arrows Owner in Trouble in America

Former Arrows F1 part-owner Prince Malik Ado Ibrahim, who claimed to be of Nigerian royalty, has escaped conviction in America on charges of stealing $750,000 from the father of a driver in his NASCAR team Maverick Motorsports.Ibrahim, with his failed marketing concept 'T-Minus', is thought to have owned up to 25 per cent of Arrows in 1999, in a short-lived venture that was later linked with the team's demise in 2002.

Valencia Street Race Plans Revealed

Ten of F1's eleven teams on Wednesday were shown official plans for the inaugural Valencia street race, scheduled for August.The teams, excluding the Japanese outfit Super Aguri which is not present at the group test in the Spanish region this week, were provided with details and given a walkthrough of the nearby street layout, which is presently under construction in the port area, by European grand prix organisers.

Singapore GP Lights On One Side Only

Lights for the first ever formula one night race in Singapore will be situated on only one side of the city's street circuit, the race's deputy chairman has said in a media briefing."This is to prevent the drivers from being disorientated in cases of spinning," Colin Syn explained.

среда, 23 января 2008 г.

Uncle Villeneuve Goes Home

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve's uncle has been released from hospital following his snowmobile crash in Wisconsin (USA) last Friday.It was reported that 54-year-old Jacques Villeneuve, the brother of Ferrari legend Gilles, had broken his pelvis, legs and injured his spine when he was struck by a competitor at more than 200kph.

What the Heck Is That ?

BMW-Sauber showed off a radical front nose innovation whilst testing at the Valencia circuit on Tuesday. The unique solution, which was being tested alongside a more conventional piece at the Spanish venue in the hands of Nick Heidfeld, features 'horn'-like flaps that are elegantly tapered into the upper nose cone structure of the F1.08 single seater.

'I See Us As A Top Team'

The BMW-Sauber team is in a bullish mood as it prepares to take on 'Big Two' formula one teams Ferrari and McLaren in 2008.At Valencia on Tuesday, the F1.08 single seater was fitted with a radical 'antler' front nose innovation, as team boss Dr Mario Theissen restated his belief that the new car is a "significant step forward" over the impressive 2007 model.

Hamilton's 'Cooperation' Dig at Alonso

Lewis Hamilton has played down the impact that his former McLaren teammate Fernando Alonso will have at Renault in 2008.After the double world champion's spectacular falling out with Hamilton and McLaren team boss Ron Dennis last year, Spaniard Alonso has returned to the scene of his title triumphs of 2005 and 2006.

'Already I Have Changed Many Things'

Heikki Kovalainen says McLaren will help him to become a better driver than he was at Renault last year.After a disappointing start to his F1 career as a rookie in 2007, the promising Finn improved steadily throughout the season but was replaced for 2008 by the Brazilian youngster Nelson Piquet Jr.

вторник, 22 января 2008 г.

Villeneuve's Uncle Struck From Behind at 225 Kph

1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve's uncle has been seriously injured whilst racing a snowmobile in Wisconsin (USA).52-year-old Jacques Villeneuve, the brother of Ferrari legend Gilles, is in hospital with back and lower body injuries, the Journal de Montreal said, after his ailing vehicle was struck from behind by a competitor at more than 225kph.

Ferrari, Toyota Look For Bahrain Advantage

Only two of F1's eleven teams have confirmed that they will take part in the pre-season Bahrain tests next month.After nine teams participated in the Sakhir sessions one year ago, officials for the circuit have revealed that, so far, only Ferrari and Toyota look set to make the trip to the Gulf island in 2008.

Button's Girl

Jenson Button's girlfriend hit the headlines on Monday, when it was announced that she has been hired to model for the British department store chain John Lewis. Florence Brudenell-Bruce, who descended from Britain's earls of Cardigan and began dating Honda driver Button last year, was hired to help "sex up" the John Lewis brand, a spokesman said.

New Renault Quick Out of the Box

Renault's 2008 car performed strongly on Monday as Fernando Alonso gave the R28 its maiden test run at a foggy Valencia circuit.Not only was the Enstone built machine a full second and a half quicker than Williams' similarly-new FW30, Alonso's best lap was a few tenths clear of the time Robert Kubica set recently when the BMW-Sauber F1.08 made its debut.

FW30, F28 Make First Showings

Williams and Renault got their 2008 contenders up and running at the Valencia circuit on Monday.Williams' dark-liveried FW30 was the first to briefly appear, with test driver Nico Hulkenberg tip-toeing the Toyota-powered car around the Spanish circuit for a single installation lap before the fog was deemed too thick to continue.

'Improved Financial Terms Were Fully Deserved'

McLaren on Friday announced that Lewis Hamilton will stay at the Mercedes-powered team until at least the end of 2012.The new five year contract follows reports earlier this month that said the 23-year-old Briton had inked a deal that will see him earn an average of more than $27m per season.

понедельник, 21 января 2008 г.

'What Did You Think, That People Had Been Paying Me In F1 For Nothing'

Ralf Schumacher is likely to switch to Germany's DTM series in 2008 after declaring himself happy with a two-day test at Estoril.The 32-year-old German, who lost his Toyota seat at the end of 2007, completed more than 100 laps of the former Portuguese grand prix circuit this week in a black Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

Bernie Might Not Accept Honor From Queen

Bernie Ecclestone could be the next British motor racing stalwart to be knighted by the Queen.The F1 chief executive, who is 77, would follow in the footsteps of Sir Frank Williams, Sir Jack Brabham, Sir Stirling Moss and Sir Jackie Stewart, if the prediction of the Swiss newspaper Blick is correct.

Mercedes Won't Deny Purchase of McLaren

Mercedes-Benz on Wednesday would not confirm reports that it is poised to take a majority stake in the McLaren team.Auto Motor und Sport claimed that that the Stuttgart manufacturer has been positioning for the takeover since October 2007, and has now agreed a shareholding arrangement and price with the McLaren Group.

Former Spanish Racer Dies

Former Spanish racing driver Jorge de Bagration has died at the age of 63.A descendent of Georgian royals, de Bagration made two attempts to start official formula one races; first when his entry to race a Lola in the 1968 Spanish grand prix was refused, and again in Spain in 1974 for similar reasons.

Hamilton Won't Spend New Riches On Girls, and Parties

Lewis Hamilton has vowed to buy new houses for his divorced parents with the proceeds of his new multi-million dollar five-year McLaren deal.The British team announced last Friday that 23-year-old Hamilton's contract includes "improved financial terms", after he made just $700,000 plus points bonuses en route to second place in the drivers' championship in 2007.

Ferrari Spy Speaks Out

Nigel Stepney, the sacked Ferrari engineer who is widely credited for triggering the espionage scandals last year, has denied responsibility for the penalties suffered by McLaren.Despite admitting that he was the source of the 780-page secret dossier found in Mike Coughlan's possession, Stepney said it was the suspended McLaren chief designer who used the information improperly.

New Dutch Sponsor Coming to Formula One

A new sponsor will shortly be announced officially by the Williams team, a Dutch publication on Tuesday said.McGregor, a high-end European fashion label from Holland, has joined the Oxfordshire based team and is already represented on the FW29 car that is being tested at Jerez this week, f1today.nl reports.

'I Would Have Preferred To Race'

Vitantonio Liuzzi says he understands why Force India overlooked him for a race seat in 2008, but is not willing to accept a career as a F1 test driver.The 27-year-old Italian will travel to every grand prix this season as Force India's official reserve, as well as heading the team's test programme.

воскресенье, 20 января 2008 г.

Trulli Would Have Welcomed Alonso to Toyota

Jarno Trulli insists he was never really concerned about rumours linking Fernando Alonso with his Toyota seat for 2008.Before the Spanish double world champion Alonso sealed his return to Renault after an ill-fated single season with McLaren, he was also strongly linked with a move in 2008 to Toyota, as well as Red Bull.

'For Victories, We Will Probably Have To Wait Until 2009'

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has played down expectations that the team's second car penned by Adrian Newey could be in the running for race wins in 2008."Not under normal racing conditions," the Austrian billionaire cautioned at Jerez on Wednesday, as David Coulthard put the first 54 laps on the newly launched RB4 single seater.

Red Bull Launches RB4

F1 team Red Bull Racing launched its new single seater for 2008 at Jerez on Wednesday.In a low-key presentation outside the Spanish circuit's pits, in very light drizzle, the Milton Keynes based squad showed off the evolutionary RB4 and confirmed that Swiss teenager Sebastien Buemi will be the official test and reserve driver this season.

'We Don't Foresee Any Changes In The Near Future'

Renault will remain Red Bull Racing's engine supplier for the foreseeable future, team boss Christian Horner suggested on Wednesday."We're very happy with the engine partnership with Renault and don't foresee any changes in the near future," he told reporters on Wednesday at the launch of the second Renault-powered Red Bull single seater at Jerez.

Bastardizing Formula One!

In a letter received this week by F1 team principals, FIA president Max Mosley confirmed that a budget cap will be introduced in 2009.Mosley's letter, summarising the conclusions of a recent meeting in Paris, said a financial working group will between now and June determine the details of the restrictions, including the size of the cap.

BMW's Test Disturbed by 100 Kmh Winds

The maiden test of BMW-Sauber's newly launched 2008 car was disturbed by extreme weather on Wednesday, according to the German news agency SID.Reportedly, extreme winds of up to 100kmh and rainstorms meant Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica could not proceed as planned with the second consecutive day with the F1.08 at the Valencia circuit in Spain.

Wurz Looking Forward to Reserve Role

Alex Wurz has indicated that he will indeed again contest the famous Le Mans 24 hour race.It was reported last month that the veteran Austrian, who has retired as a formula one racer but will travel to the grands prix as Honda's official reserve driver this season, was in talks with the works Peugeot team about 2008.

Red Bull Completes Opening Lap

David Coulthard completed a trouble-free opening lap for Red Bull's 2008 car, the RB4, at a wet Jerez track on Wednesday morning."It looks super with lots of nice detail on it and given that it did its installation lap and came back to the garage, so far we have achieved all our targets," the Scot said.

суббота, 19 января 2008 г.

'I Find It Hard To See How This Year's Winner Is Going To Be Anything Other Than

Damon Hill fears that McLaren and Britain's Lewis Hamilton will be unable to challenge for the 2008 world championship.The 1996 title winner, who today is president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, said Ron Dennis' Mercedes-powered team is "being made to fight with one arm tied behind their back" in the after-effects of the espionage scandals of 2007.

Ralf's Spews Sour Grapes Against Toyota

Ralf Schumacher has said the pressure and expectations of success at Toyota were immensely and increasingly high in 2007.The 32-year-old has failed to secure another seat on the grid after a disappointing three year tenure at Toyota, where despite impressive annual budgets the Japanese team has struggled to break out of the midfield since debuting in 2002.

'I Do Not Have The Same Conditions As Hamilton At Mclaren'

Sebastien Bourdais says he fears that the French people are expecting too much from his looming debut season in formula one.The 28-year-old Frenchman won F1's then feeder series, F3000, in 2002, before crossing the Atlantic and triumphing in four of the five Champ Car championships he contested until finally getting the call back to Europe.

'It Is Better To Have Alonso With You Than To Have Him Somewhere Else'

Pedro de la Rosa says the departure of his countryman from the McLaren driver lineup in 2008 is a loss to the British team.The Spanish test driver has made it clear that the spat involving Fernando Alonso, the former double world champion, and team colleagues Lewis Hamilton and Ron Dennis last year, did not also involve himself.

Another Scandal, This Time Williams Head Is Named

Williams co-owner and veteran engineering boss Patrick Head has been named amid a British scandal that could end the career of a prominent government minister.Peter Hain, who is UK work and pensions secretary, is being investigated for failing to declare nearly (US) $200,000 in donations contributing to his campaign to become deputy leader of the Labour party.

Warning to the Force India Drivers... You Can Be Replaced

Vitantonio Liuzzi is ready to step into a racing cockpit if Force India's 2008 lineup does not perform adequately, technical boss Mike Gascoyne has warned.The Briton suggests that Toro Rosso refugee Liuzzi, who has been signed as the team's test driver this year, will put pressure on colleagues Giancarlo Fisichella and Adrian Sutil to push hard this season.

'That Is An Invention Of Journalists'

Nelson Piquet Jr has once again played down concerns that he will not get along with Renault teammate Fernando Alonso in 2008.After twice world champion Alonso's relationship with Lewis Hamilton last year led to his unplanned departure from McLaren, some observers forecast that his new pairing with the often surly Piquet could lead to similar conflict this season.

BMW Hoping for Half a Second Gain

BMW-Sauber technical director Willy Rampf is hoping for a significant lap time improvement with the German team's 2008 car.After the Swiss based outfit unveiled the F1.08 in Munich, complete with a strikingly bigger front wing, Rampf told the German newspaper Bild: "If the car is less than half a second quicker than its predecessor, I will be disappointed."

пятница, 18 января 2008 г.

Toyota Confirms They'll Be In F1 Through 2012

Toyota team boss Tadashi Yamashina has played down reports that Tokyo officials have given the Japanese team only two more years to succeed in formula one.He revealed recently that "I have been given two more years" to deliver success for the Cologne based squad, but now denies that he was referring to Toyota's very participation in the sport.

'I Am Not Scared Of Anything'

Heikki Kovalainen does not agree with F1 competitor David Coulthard that the ban on traction control makes the sport less safe, particularly in wet weather."No I don't think so, formula one is always a bit dangerous and I am not scared of anything," the Finnish McLaren driver said. "You just have to be more alert and focus very hard."

Klien Called to Duty

After missing out on the vacant Force India race cockpit for 2008, Christian Klien has been summoned by the Austrian army to do six months of mandatory military service this year.According to reports in the former Jaguar, Red Bull and Honda driver's native country, the 24-year-old was on Thursday ordered to report for duty at Vorarlberg, the western province that houses his home town Hohenems.

Each F1 Driver Gets One Free Engine Blow-up

F1 drivers will not be penalised for their first unscheduled engine change in 2008, FIA president Max Mosley has confirmed in a letter to team bosses.The rule tweak, ensuring that each driver will not lose ten grid places or be sent to the back of the grid for his first engine change of the season, was apparently agreed at the team principals' recent meeting with Mosley in Paris.

Stewart Slams Mosley

Sir Jackie Stewart has hit back at Max Mosley by suggesting the FIA president is an "amateur" who should either quit or be sacked.The 68-year-old Scot, who won three drivers' championships before going on to run a team and the club that promotes the British grand prix, was responding to Mosley's criticism of his recent outspokenness about the way formula one is governed.

Hamilton Beachs MP4-23... Twice

Lewis Hamilton admitted on Wednesday that the absence of traction control led to his two visits to the Jerez gravel traps during the final day of the Spanish group test.The 23-year-old British driver twice beached his new McLaren MP4-23 away from the damp circuit's tarmac -- once early in the day, and once as the session wound down.

четверг, 17 января 2008 г.

McLaren Selling Out Rumors Continue

McLaren's engine and equity partner Mercedes-Benz has finally decided to take a majority stake in the British team, a specialist magazine reports.Auto Motor und Sport, the respected German publication, claims that the Stuttgart manufacturer is now poised to take over the team from Ron Dennis, who has run the team from headquarters in Woking (UK) since the early 80s.

F1 Teams Stuck With McLaren Supply of ECU

McLaren boss Ron Dennis played down the controversy surrounding the introduction of standard electronics in formula one this year.While competitors including Renault, Ferrari and BMW grumble about the initial advantage enjoyed by McLaren in 2008 by owning the company that developed the new ECU, Dennis pointed out that all manufacturers had been invited by the FIA to tender for the deal.

Raikkonen Skeptical of Renault's Pace

Reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen remained sceptical on Wednesday as the paddock mused Renault's apparent return to top form at Jerez.On Tuesday, on the only thoroughly dry day of running at the Spanish group test this week, 26-year-old Alonso led the field in the R27, which in the hands of Giancarlo Fisichella and Heikki Kovalainen in 2007 was not a race winner.

'I Had Much More Fuel On Board Than Many People Might Believe'

Timo Glock left the Jerez paddock scratching its collective head on Wednesday as his 2008 Toyota topped the time sheets on the final day of the group test.Despite saying just 24 hours earlier that the TF108 could initially be a "step back" for the struggling Japanese team, the reigning GP2 champion went quicker than all comers, including Lewis Hamilton (McLaren), Fernando Alonso (Renault) and the title-winning Ferraris.

'I Don't Want To See 'Webber Is A Pussy With Safety' In the Media

Many fellow formula one drivers have not publicly expressed their concerns about the ban on electronic aids, according to outspoken critic and grand prix veteran David Coulthard.The Red Bull driver, who at 36 is the oldest active driver on the grid, told reporters at the Jerez test on Wednesday that some of his rivals are simply not prepared to be labelled "soft" by declaring that the absence of traction control will make their jobs more dangerous.

FIA Happy with EU's Eco-Call

F1's governing body has welcomed the findings of a European Parliament report, despite the interpretation that 'CARS 21' is in fact critical of the sport's environmentally-unfriendly policies.A statement issued by the European Parliament called on F1 to "change their rules" in favour of greener technology, because motor sport can play a bigger role in "changing attitudes and customer behaviour towards environmentally friendly technology".

BMW Continuing to Test Test Drivers

BMW-Sauber launched its 2008 campaign on Monday without naming an official 2008 test driver to replace Timo Glock, who has switched to race for Toyota this year.Moreover, team boss Mario Theissen revealed at the Munich event that a decision will probably not be taken this month, even though the Estonian 23-year-old Marko Asmer is being tipped to get the nod.

среда, 16 января 2008 г.

BMW Opposed to Wind Tunnel Limits

BMW supports the concept of capping formula one team budgets, but is less receptive to the FIA's proposal to limit things such as the use of wind tunnels, team boss Dr Mario Theissen said.The Bavarian manufacturer's motor sport director and BMW-Sauber team principal told reporters on Monday that he supports moves to reduce costs in the notoriously expensive sport.

Huge Spanish Crowd Comes Out To See Alonso Test

An unusually large crowd of 6,500 spectators, mostly Spaniards, attended the Jerez circuit on Tuesday to witness Fernando Alonso's return to the cockpit of a Renault racer, the Spanish sports daily Marca said."Ron, you should also apologise to the champion (Alonso), just as you did with Ferrari," one banner in the grandstand demanded of the 26-year-old Spaniard's former McLaren chief.

Political Hacks Want Changes to Formula One

The European Parliament has asked formula one to "change their rules" in favour of more environmentally friendly technology.While the FIA has already paved the way for things like electronic energy recovery systems, smaller engines and bio-fuels, a statement on behalf of EU politicians said motor sport can play a bigger role in "changing attitudes and customer behaviour towards environmentally friendly technology".

Ralf Ignoring Brother's Advice

Mercedes-Benz, the German touring car series and Ralf Schumacher have all confirmed that the 32-year-old German will test a DTM car this week.It was reported that the 32-year-old, the former winner of six grands prix who lost his Toyota seat at the end of 2007, is scheduled to line up alongside fellow F1 refugee Christian Klien for a test in a C-Class Mercedes at Estoril on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Alonso Quickest

Fernando Alonso on Tuesday took his first step towards securing a third Renault-powered drivers' title, by going quickest of all on his testing return with the French team at Jerez.On his first day of driving action since the Brazilian grand prix with McLaren last October, the 26-year-old Spaniard headed the field of thirteen wearing a new helmet livery that features depictions of two 'ace' cards -- one for each of his titles in '05 and '06.

Coulthard to Debut RB4 on Wednesday

David Coulthard will have the honour of giving Red Bull Racing's new car for 2008, the RB4, its maiden track outing at Jerez on Wednesday.

Mark Webber, the Scot's Australian teammate, will continue driving the team's 2007 car after the launch at Jerez, in the sherry-producing south of Spain.

Elsewhere on Tuesday, on the eastern coast of Spain at the Valencia circuit, Robert Kubica for the first time in his career got the privilege of giving a new formula one car its debut.

Watched on by experienced German teammate Nick Heidfeld, the Pole guided a trouble-free first outing for the newly launched BMW-Sauber F1.08.

"The roll-out went off absolutely hitch-free," said team boss Mario Theissen.

"All systems were functioning from the word go and Robert has gained a positive first impression of the new car's handling," he added.

Back at Jerez, Timo Glock played down the performance of the new Toyota TF108 as he powered it to just eleventh quickest of the thirteen runners.

"My first impression of the car is generally positive but at this stage of the year it is too early to truly know how competitive it will be," the German said.

понедельник, 14 января 2008 г.

Trulli Would Have Welcomed Alonso to Toyota

Jarno Trulli insists he was never really concerned about rumours linking Fernando Alonso with his Toyota seat for 2008.

Before the Spanish double world champion Alonso sealed his return to Renault after an ill-fated single season with McLaren, he was also strongly linked with a move in 2008 to Toyota, as well as Red Bull.

But Trulli, the 33-year-old Italian veteran of more than 180 grands prix, told the newspaper 'Diario AS' that he enjoyed a mostly relaxing winter break.

"I didn't think anything about it; I was usually working in the factory over the winter and knew I had a contract until 2009," he said.

Trulli does, however, wonder about the manner in which Toyota, the Japanese team that is based in Cologne, Germany, handled the Alonso rumours.

"Maybe they should have slowed down the rumours that Fernando or Kovalainen could be arriving to take my place," said Trulli, who was Alonso's teammate at Renault in 2003 and 2004.

He says he would enjoy working with Alonso again, even at Toyota.

"It would have been nice to have him again as my teammate," Trulli admitted, "but that has been the case and we both took our separate paths.

"I was waiting to see if he would come (to Toyota) during the winter, but as soon as Timo Glock was signed, I knew Fernando would be going back to Renault," he added.

'The Winning Car They Promised Never Came'

Giancarlo Fisichella, who on Thursday was unveiled as a Force India driver for 2008, says he is disappointed with Renault.The Italian winner of three grands prix - two of them with Renault - claims that, following three consecutive years at the French team and another four in its previous Benetton guise, the Enstone based outfit failed to fulfil its promise of a winning car.

Schu Says Ralf Doesn't Have the Talent to Drive a DTM Car

Michael Schumacher has advised his younger brother Ralf to resist offers to rescue his embattled motor racing career in Germany's premier touring car category, DTM.It was recently reported that 32-year-old Ralf, who lost his Toyota seat at the end of last season and performed poorly in a subsequent test for formula one backmarker Force India, may have received contact from DTM teams about joining the series next year.

воскресенье, 13 января 2008 г.

Will New Super Aguri Be Last Year's Honda ?

Super Aguri will launch its new car for 2008 at Barcelona next month, the Japanese formula one team announced on Tuesday.The Honda-powered single seater, to be called the SA08, is scheduled to be unveiled at the Circuit de Catalunya on 19 February -- less than a month before the 2008 season kicks off in Australia in mid March.

суббота, 12 января 2008 г.

China GP Boss Trying to Get Out of Jail

The fired general manager of Shanghai's formula one circuit intends to appeal his four year jail term for embezzlement.Yu Zhifei, who was instrumental in bringing the sport to China and a key promoter until his removal, was last week sentenced amid a major corruption scandal, including using nearly (US) $150,000 in public money to buy a house.

BMW Searching for Tester

BMW-Sauber has asked Marko Asmer to test again, with the German team yet to appoint a replacement for departed third driver Timo Glock.The 23-year-old Estonian ran for the Swiss based team last month at Jerez, and was significantly faster than his main competitor for the official test and reserve position in 2008, Spanish GP2 race winner Javier Villa.

пятница, 11 января 2008 г.

Delays For New Williams F1 Car

The track debut of Williams' new Toyota-powered car for 2008, the FW30, has been delayed by an extra week.The car had been scheduled to turn its first laps at Jerez next Monday (14 January), but the German trade journal Auto Motor und Sport reports that Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima will instead take to the Spanish circuit with the existing 2007 model, the FW29.

четверг, 10 января 2008 г.

F1 Finale Nearly Beats Super Bowl!

A formula one race was the second most watched sporting event in the world last year, independent television viewing analysts Initiative Sports Futures has found.A new report shows that the 2007 Brazilian grand prix, a three-way showdown for the title that saw Kimi Raikkonen crowned world champion, was beaten only by American football's NFL Super Bowl as the most popular sports telecast of 2007.

Ferrari Looking At Raikkonen Beyond 2009

Newly crowned world champion Kimi Raikkonen could race for Ferrari beyond the expiry of his current contract in late 2009, new team boss Stefano Domenicali has suggested at a media event.To reporters at the joint Ferrari and Ducati 'Wroom' winter retreat in the Dolomites on Wednesday, the 43-year-old Italian played down rumours that Raikkonen's stay at Maranello could be shortened by the team's reported links with Fernando Alonso.